Can Enneagram 3 be Introverted? (A complete overview)

In this article, we attempt to answer the question – “Can enneagram type 3 be introverted?” We discuss the nature of a type 3 personality, and understand what can lead them to become an introvert.

Enneagram is a theory that offers an explanation for understanding the human personality in terms of nine different types. It explains the different types of personalities with the help of a geometric figure like that of a regular nine-sided polygon. 

Can Enneagram type 3 be an introvert?

 Yes, it is possible for an enneagram 3 personality type individual to be an introvert. They are ambitious, focused and serious individuals who find much of their identity in what they do. The possibility of type 3s being introverts can be attributed to the following reasons:

  • Type 3 with a 4 wing
  • Feeling repressed due to overidentification with others

As much as 3s like being the centre of attention, there are instances where they feel overwhelmed with being in the spotlight. We discuss how this happens in detail so keep reading below.

Enneagram defined

The word enneagram comes from the Greek word “Ennea” which means nine and “Gramma” which means something that is written or drawn. Enneagram consequently literally means nine different types of illustrations. According to this theory a person’s personality can be identified as one of the nine possible combinations that are inclusive of one’s beliefs, values and motivations.

The formal definition of Enneagram is as follows:

“A system of classifying personality types that is based on a nine-pointed starlike figure inscribed within a circle in which each of the nine points represent a personality type and its psychological motivations influencing a person’s emotions, attitudes, and behaviours.

What is the Enneagram type 3?

The enneagram type 3s, also known as “The Achiever” are practical, self-assured and charming individuals whose core motivation is to be admired and looked up to. 3s fall under the feeling type category, but are not so good at dealing with their emotions. While growing up, they have somehow learnt that by engaging in socially desirable behaviour, they can win the approval and appreciation from others.

As a result, their basic desire is to feel valuable and basic fear is to be worthless. They are very competitive in nature and tend to be workaholics. 3s believe that their work can bring them appreciation and acknowledgement as they are highly conscious of their image. Additionally, they can be very diplomatic as well, in attempt to appeal and please other people for being likeable. They make frequent and active efforts to improve how other people perceive of them by being extra nice, being approachable, and sometimes even flattering.

When under stress, a type 3 moves toward a type 9 as they begin to become unmotivated and apathetic. They often repress their own emotions as they are busy recognising others’ emotions and as a result may feel like they are not understood because of their lack of expression. When growing, type 3s move towards type 6 as they become more collaborative and communicative.

Enneagram type 3’s as extroverts

The basic desire for a type 3 individual is to be recognised and appreciated by others for their work and efforts. They become highly competitive and constantly try to better themselves. As an extrovert, a type 3 individual is open to new interactions and freely gives compliments to please those around them. They feel joy in motivating others because they know how good it feels to be able to do things on their own.

Extrovert type 3s are focused on being productive and thrive on positive affirmations from others. They are also sometimes known as the chameleons of the enneagram types because of their unique ability to adapt and adjust to meet social requirements. This may seem alarming sometimes as they are often misidentified with other types but they change their behaviour in order to maintain their social image and reputation.

Type 3s are self-independent and energetic individuals who are driven to achieve tangible goals to achieve their ideal version of success. But one of the major areas of challenge for them is emotions. They fail to connect to their own emotions and as a result, tend to face difficulty in having empathy for others. They coper by moving to the thinking and action side to rectify the issues.

Enneagram type 3’s as introverts

Type 3 individuals are people pleasers who seek to be the centre of attention which is why they are so popular. This highly contrasts with the possibility of such individuals being introverts but this is in fact very much possible.

The two possible explanations for type 3s to be introvert are as follows:

  • Type 3 with a 4 wing –
    When a type 3 individual has a dominant type 4 wing, are often found at crossroads. Instinctually, 3s desire attention and want to be seen as attractive but 4s on the other hand do not seek others’ approval and are only focused on being the best version of themselves. As a result, when type 3 with a 4 wing gets a lot of attention, they tend to feel overwhelmed as they only wish to be themselves and not always be under a watchful eye. This may lead to a lot of frustration and undue self-criticism because 3s have almost never had the opportunity to be themselves. Therefore, they may become all the more reserved and try to avoid social gatherings unless absolutely necessary.
  • Feeling repressed due to overidentification with other –
    3s are bad at dealing with their emotions. They feel that it is not really important to put others’ emotional needs before their own to garner constant support and recognition for their work. As a result of this, they begin to over identify with others emotions and repress their own which may lead them to lose themselves trying to become what they perceive other people want them to be. They process this through thinking and action centres which makes them all the more focused on work and may lead them to avoid social interactions and become introverted.

Conclusion 

In this article, we looked at how enneagram 3s can be introverts. The two reasons that we attributed to explain this were either the presence of a type 4 wing or neglecting own emotional needs. 

In conclusion, it is possible for enneagram 2 to be an introvert or an extrovert. Again, sometimes when 3s receive a lot of attention, they are unable to understand how to deal with it because they only try to become what other people want them to be. They never truly got a chance to be their authentic selves which is why they struggle with their self-image.

Ultimately, it all depends upon our individual differences and childhood experiences to have either of these dominant characteristics. It is also possible for 3s to switch from being in introvert to an extrovert by being self-aware, paying more attention to one’s emotions, and consciously making an effort to find who they truly are.

FAQ’s 

How do you become a healthy enneagram 3?

Enneagram 3’s thrive on positive affirmations and healthy competition. In order to become a healthy 3, it is necessary to open up more about how you feel and become aware of yourself more. Engage in collaboration with other people and take up challenges against yourself. Understand that competing to become a better person is more important than competing to become superior than others.

Which enneagram types are introverts?

Enneagram type 4, 5 and 6 are more likely to be introverts. While 4 falls under the feeling centre, 5 and 6 falls under the thinking centre. 4’s like to think that no one truly ever understands them, and they like being with themselves. 5’s & 6’s are intellectual and like to analyse situations and feelings which is why they often like to keep to themselves.

What does enneagram 3 go to in stress?

Enneagram 3 goes to type 9 when under stressful situations. They tend to become disengaged and apathetic. And begin to lose focus and motivation. This lack of energy and drive makes them average and fills them with negativity.

How do you communicate with enneagram 3?

Type 3’s often look for a lot of support and appreciation from friends and family. To communicate effectively with them, create a rapport. Talk about what they have accomplished, ask how they are doing, and appreciate their efforts. Try to get to know them better by asking questions like – “What is one thing I am not aware of about you?” or “What has discouraged you recently?”

Which enneagram has the most anxiety?

Enneagram type 6’s are the most prone to have anxiety issues. Type 6’s often question everything and everyone around them and end up feeling fearful. They often struggle with decision making which can add to the anxiety as they begin overthinking and analysing each and every single word they hear and say.

Which is the rarest enneagram type?

Enneagram 8s are the rarest of all enneagram types. 8s are challengers and are said to have born leadership qualities. They enjoy challenging themselves and have enormous willpower and vitality. Some of the famous 8 personalities include Donald Trump, Pablo Picasso, & Indira Gandhi.

References 

https://www.quora.com/Can-Enneagram-3-s-be-introverted#:~:text=Yes%2C%20they%20can.,is%20all%20about%20basic%20motivations.&text=Examples%20of%20introverts%20with%20enneagram,(INTJ%203w4)%20of%20Bleach.

https://www.crystalknows.com/enneagram/type-3-wing-4

https://www.personalitycafe.com/threads/introverts-and-attention.33423/

https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/type-3

https://theenneagramatwork.com/type-3-performer

https://www.truity.com/blog/why-enneagram-type-3-and-type-7-score-lowest-empathy-and-how-they-can-change-it

Geetanjali soni is an Organisational psychologist from Bangalore, India. She wishes to promote psychology as a subject by bringing psychological principles to the professional world and generating experiences for people

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